Sales and marketing

Publicity stunts and the inevitable 10th caller through

Andrew Sadauskas /

taskmasterThere are some things that are just an inevitable fact of life, like dogs saying “woof”, cats saying “meow” or politicians saying “I don’t recall”.

 

They’re inevitable like the voice on your radio alarm clock who, at some far too early hour, will wake you up in FM stereo by screaming: “The Super Mega Ultra Rock Thunder Patroller is out and about giving away ice-cold Coke and cold hard cash! Plus this morning we’ve got the greatest hits from the ‘80s, ‘90s, noughties and now! Stay tuned, this morning we’re also giving away free movie passes if you guess the secret sound! Be the tenth caller through now!”

 

And just as sure as the sun will rise or a meeting will waste your time, by the end of 2013, another shock jock will almost inevitably find themselves in the middle of a scandal.

 

Of course, ACMA’s records will show that only three people could initially be bothered complaining about the incident during the initial broadcast – one of whom was trying to be the 10th caller through but dialled the wrong number.

 

Within 48 hours, the equally inevitable tabloid media beat-up will begin. People who would never listen to the show of their own free will – be it rusted-on Labor voters with Alan Jones or people with brains with Kyle Sandilands – will take to Twitter to swear that they will never listen to the show again. Of course they won’t – they never did before.

 

Still, on cue, the major national and multinational advertisers will go through the ritual of pulling their ads (at least for a week or two). Politicians, commentators and community groups will line up for their free kick against the radio station.

 

This is where you come in, my dear start-up entrepreneur.

 

If you’re trying to raise your company’s profile and brand awareness, a great time to score some extra publicity is in the immediate aftermath of one of these scandals. Once a bunch of national advertisers pull out and the hysterical hyperventilation is in full force, give the radio station a call and ask about buying some ad slots. The poor sales staff will probably give you a decent price just to meet their KPIs after most of their other advertisers pulled out.

 

After you do, make it known, both in a press release and on Twitter, that you are taking up advertising on the show.

 

Sure, some people on Twitter will claim they’re boycotting your product. But it’s hard to boycott something you didn’t previously know existed. In fact, the cruel truth is that anyone “boycotting” your product will be significantly more likely to purchase it now they know it exists, where they probably didn’t before.

 

Eventually, the storm will die down and the national advertisers will return. Within a week or two, all will be forgotten. Meanwhile, you will have significantly greater brand awareness – with your brand and product mentioned in most newspapers and TV news bulletins– all for the cost of a week or two of discounted radio advertising.

 

Get it done – once you’re the 10th caller through!

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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